Tracking Vitamin K for Health
By Rosalie Marion
Bliss August 1, 2007
Could getting enough dietary vitamin K help keep osteoarthritis at
bay? Study volunteers with the highest blood levels of the main form of vitamin
Kphylloquinonewere associated with the lowest risk among
participants of having osteoarthritis in the hands and knees. The study was
conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists.
Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that involves the breakdown of
cartilage and bones, which leads to pain and stiffness.
The lead researcher,
L. Booth, is director of the
K Laboratory at the
Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in
Boston, Mass. She and Boston University
rheumatologist Tuhina Neogi reported the findings in Arthritis &
Rheumatism. ARS is the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
For the study, Booth and colleagues used new methods to assess
participants' vitamin K blood plasma concentrations, as well as associations
between that status and osteoarthritis. The study is particularly significant
because low dietary intakes of vitamin K are known to be associated with
relatively higher amounts of bone loss in the elderly, according to authors.
The researchers have also determined the amount of several major types
of vitamin K in hundreds of foods. Through a collaboration, those data and more
are available via the
Nutrient Data Laboratory website, which is part of the
Human Nutrition Research Center at Beltsville, Md.
Dieticians and consumers, for example, can look up the vitamin K
content in close to a thousand foods, using one of two listing choices. To
access the Vitamin K Nutrient List, go to:
At left, choose "Products and Services" and then click on "Reports by
Single Nutrients." From there, scroll down to "Vitamin K" under the nutrient
column and then make a listing choiceeither sorted alphabetically or
sorted by nutrient quantity.
more about the research in the August 2007 issue of Agricultural